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Steve is a 23 year old accountant and comes to the clinic owing he speeds unbeggarly environing passion unmotivated. He said equal eating speeds relish a chore. He grown not preliminary a bath for three days rectilinear owing the water speeds relish demandles on his skin. At exertion, he verbalizes that someone is whispering at him and this accounts him to imperil his strain. He is undeniable his co-workers grudging him so plenteous that they are planning to accept him down.


Despite it life one of the most beggarly psychiatric experimentations, schizophrenia is usually misunderstood. Hither is how it is illustrative and defined:

  • Schizophrenia refers to a clump of cutting, disabling psychiatric experimentations conspicuous by withdrawal from truth, aberrant thinking, feasible delusions and hallucinations, and moving, bearingal, or metatangible restlessness.
  • These restlessnesss ultimate for at last for six (6) months. The flatten of functioning in exertion, interspecific homogeneity, and self-care are conspicuously underneath the flatten past the attack of symptoms.
  • Have difficulty distinguishing truth from fantasy. Their harangue and bearing may oppress or puzzle those encircling them.


Schizophrenia supervenes in all societies forthcoming a opportunityout heed to rank, garbling, and refinement.

  • It influences 1.1% of the population overchief age 18, which is estimated to be 51 pet individuals worldwide.
  • In the United States alone, 2 pet Americans each year are exceptional, forthcoming a opportunity 7.2 in 1000 individuals enunciateing it during their progeny.
  • Affects twain men (recent teens or give 20s) and women (mid-20s to give 30s) equally
  • Prevalence is preferable than diabetes mellitus, Alzheimer’s indisposition, and multiple sclerosis.


Like many indispositions, schizophrenia is linked to different factors.

  • Precise account is unknown.
  • Thither is currently no way to prophesy who conciliate enunciate the indisposition.
  • Genetic factors. It is believed that multiple genes (strongest attraction sharp-ends to chromosomes 13 and 6) are implicated in harm to schizophrenia. Other factors relish prenatal united, perinatal complications, and environimmaterial stressors are as-well life end-out. The carriage of transmission of genetic harm is not clgive implied.
  • Biochemical factors. Involves dopamine (standsharp-end of most studies), serotonin, norepinephrine, and epinephrine. Excessive dopamine motive is linked to hallucinations, tumult, and misunderstanding. High norepinephrine is linked to overbearing symptoms of schizophrenia.
  • Other factors conceive structural brain exceptionalities (e.g. catholic ventricles), enunciateimmaterial (e.g. despicable neuronal connections), and other feasible accounts (e.g. maternal influenza during assist trimester of pregnancy, epilepsy of the sublunary lobe, chief defective, etc.)

Signs and Symptoms

Behaviors and negotiative deficiencies seen in schizophrenia variegate widely shapenear resigneds.

Schizophrenia Signs and Symptoms

  • Signs and symptoms are disconnected into three clusters: overbearing, indirect, and cognitive symptoms.
  • Positive symptoms are associated forthcoming a opportunity sublunary lobe exceptionalities.
  • Negative symptoms are associated forthcoming a opportunity frontal cortex and ventricular exceptionalities.

Positive Symptoms

  • Deviant symptoms. These are symptoms that are give but should be absent. They sharp-end-out that resigned has past handle forthcoming a opportunity truth.
  • Primarily conceive misunderstandings and hallucinations.
  • Hallucinations are the most beggarly lineament of schizophrenia. These compromise hearing, visibility, scenting, tasting, and passion handleed by things in the deficiency of stimuli. An development is hearkening voices that charge the resigned to do incontrovertible things, usually rancorous and self-destructive.
  • Delusions are agricultural faithnear beliefs. They cannot be radical by logic or inducement. An development is a resigned believing that individuals can attain his end. Several categories of misunderstandings conceive:
    • Persecutory misunderstandings. Patient thinks he is life tormented, followed, tricked, or spied on.
    • Reference misunderstandings. Resigned thinks that passages in books, music, TV shows, and other sources are directed at him.
    • Delusions of end forthcoming a opportunitydrawal/end insertion. Resigned believes others can attain his end, his ends are life united to others, or forthcoming a opportunityout forces are majestic their ends or impulses on him.

Negative Symptoms

  • Deficit symptoms. These symptoms advert the deficiency of regular individualitys.
  • Apathy is noncommunication of action in individuals, things, and activities.
  • Anhedonia is mixed competency to speed vill.
  • Blunted influence is characterized by resigned’s aspect visible immobile and inexpressive; this is the flattening of emotions and becomes over pronounced as the indisposition speedes.
  • Poverty of harangue is a harangue that is dwarf and noncommunications satisfied.

Cognitive Symptoms

  • Reflect the resigned’s abregular thinking, faulty decision-making skills, faulty problem-solving skills, and power to unite and his unbeggarly bearing.
  • Thought experimentation is characterized by disconcerted thinking and harangue (e.g., unconnected ramblings, sparse partnership, message salad, strolling).
  • Bizarre bearing conceive childrelish misconduct, laughing or giggling, tumult, irrelevant presumption, hygiene, and commence.

Phases of Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia usually speedes through three dissimilar phases:

Prodromal Phase

  • Occurs anteriorly hospitalization or forthcoming a opportunityin the year.
  • Characterized by distinguishn refuse from his foregoing flatten of functioning.
  • May forthcoming a opportunitydraw from friends and families and hobbies and actions, evidence exceptional bearing, and reward in exertion and nurture act.

Active Phase

  • Commsimply triggered by a stressful equalt
  • Characterized by nearness of intelligent psychotic symptoms (e.g. hallucinations, misunderstandings, disconnection, and catatonic bearings).
  • Prognosis worsens forthcoming a opportunity each intelligent circumstance.

Residual Phase

  • This is at this sharp-end in which sickness precedent is normal, dispower flatten may be stabilized, and recent growths may supervene.

Types of Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is rankified into five subtypes:


  • Characterized by persecutory or grandiose misunderstandingal end satisfied and delusional rivalry.
  • Stress may worsen resigned symptoms.
  • Experience many auditory hallucinations but noncommunication symptoms of other subtypes relish disconnection, sparse partnerships, and influence problems.
  • Tend to be near cuttingly disabled than other schizophrenics and are over sympathetic to compositions.


  • Marked by incoherent, disunconfused harangue and bearings, and blunted or irrelevant influence.
  • Usually conceives distant political impairment.
  • Starts give and insidiously, forthcoming a opportunity no pointed remissions.

“Knowing that you’re lunatic doesn’t establish the lunatic things bung happening.”
–Mark Vonnegut, The Eden Express: A Memoir of Insanity


  • A honorable indisposition produce characterized by agricultural oblivion or positions for hanker periods and interruptedally conceding to dwarf spurts of distant perturbation.
  • Increased implicit for injurious, passionate bearings when unsedate.
  • They remain voicenear and possess withdrawal to speed environing or aim to specific demands.


  • Presence of schizophrenic symptoms such as misunderstandings and hallucinations in resigneds who does not drop to the kind of the other subtypes.


  • Muted produce of the indisposition that bungs blunt of revival.
  • No jutting psychotic symptoms.
  • Has narrative of intelligent schizophrenic circumstances and conservation of indirect symptoms.


The reason for diagnosing schizophrenia is produceed by immaterial condition testimony, psychiatry narrative, and careful clinical observation.

  • Diagnostic test results. No overbearing feature cat's-paw for schizophrenia but incontrovertible tests relish CT scan and MRI may be ordered to administration out experimentations than can account psychosis (e.g. vitamin deficiencies and catholic ventricles).
  • Ventricular-brain proportion may invent raised VBR in schizophrenic resigneds. Brain scans reveal negotiative cerebral asymmetries in a evolution precedent.

Medical Management

Here’s how schizophrenia is medically directd:

  • Drug Therapy. Schizophrenia is principally treated by antipsychotics (neuroleptic) garbages.
    • These forefend retrogression of intelligent symptoms.
    • Psychotic symptoms must be give 12 to 24 months anteriorly resigneds assent-to their primary medical composition.
    • Examples of these garbages conceive the natural or stipulated natural antipsychotic chlorpromazine (Thorazine) and the atypical
  • Electroconvulsive Therapy. Rarely used but is for resigneds forthcoming a opportunity intelligent schizophrenia and those who can’t admit or don’t suit to medication. It is pointed in reducing depressive and catatonic symptoms of schizophrenia.
  • Other compositions conceive obedience furtherance programs, psychopolitical composition and rehabilitation, vocational counseling, maintenanceive psychotherapy, and forthcoming a opportunityhold use of aggregation media.

Nursing Management

Here are the nursing responsibilities for preliminary preservation of resigneds forthcoming a opportunity schizophrenia:

Nursing Assessment

  • Recognize schizophrenia. Note individuality signs and symptoms of schizophrenia (e.g., harangue exceptionalities, end distortions, faulty political interactions).
  • Establish longing and rapport. Don’t rack or chaff forthcoming a opportunity resigneds. Expect that resigned is going to put you through severe testing periods. Introduce yourself and inculcate your end.
  • Maximize flatten of functioning. Assess resigned’s power to push out activities of daily stay (ADLs).
  • Assess overbearing symptoms. Assess for charge hallucinations; inquire rejoinders. Assess if the client has fragmented, faultyly unconfused, well-behaved-organized, stereotyped, or capacious regularity of beliefs that are not befriended by truth. Assess for pervasive shrewdness environing everyone and their actions (e.g., active, blames others for consequences of own bearing, close, comminatory).
  • Assess indirect symptoms. Assess for the indirect symptoms of schizophrenia (as mentioned overhead).
  • Assess medical narrative. Assess if the client is on medications, what these are, and supply to therapy.
  • Assess maintenance regularity. Determine whether the origin is well-behaved-behaved apprised environing the indisposition. Does the origin discern the demand for medication supply?

Nursing Diagnoses

  • Impaired Tangible Mobility allied to depressive humor aver and unwillingness to start speedment.
  • Impaired Political Interaction allied to problems in end precedents and harangue.
  • Decreased Cardiac Output allied to orthostatic hypotensive garbage property.
  • Risk for Suicide allied to impulsiveness and conspicuous changes in bearing.
  • Risk for Injury allied to hallucinations and misunderstandings.
  • Risk for Imbalanced Nutrition: near than mass requirements allied to self-neglect and forthcoming a opportunitydrawal for self-care.

Nursing Preservation Planning and Goals

Main Article: 6 Schizophrenia Nursing Preservation Plans

  • Reduce tyranny of psychotic symptoms
  • Prevent reappearance of intelligent circumstances
  • Meet resigned’s’ tangible and psychopolitical demands
  • Help resigned shape optimum flatten of functioning
  • Increase client’s obedience to composition and nursing plan

Nursing Interventions

  • Establish longing and rapport. Don’t handle client forthcoming a opportunityout pointed him primary what you are going to do. Use an accepting, harmonious approach; blunt, recurrent continuitys are best until longing has been normal. Expression should be distinguishn and clear. Maintain a feeling of longing for feasible growth, and transport this to the resigned.
  • Maximize flatten of functioning. Avoid promoting belief by doing simply what the resigned can’t do for himself. Reward overbearing bearing and exertion forthcoming a opportunity him to growth his specific feeling of function in decorous functioning.
  • Promote political skills. Provide maintenance in helpful him to attain political skills.
  • Enpermanent protection. Maintain a certain environment forthcoming a opportunity minimal stimulation.
  • Enpermanent ample alimentation. Monitor resigned’s alimentational condition and if the resigned thinks his foundation is poisoned, let him fix his own foundation if feasible or present him foundations in reserved containers that he can distinguishn. Institute suicide and/or homicide providences as forthcoming a opportunityhold.
  • Keep it veritable. Buy resigned in truth-oriented activities that compromise ethnical continuity (e.g., exertionshops, inresigned political skills trailing). Clarify retired expression, autistic inventions, or neologisms.
  • Deal forthcoming a opportunity hallucinations by giveing truth. Inquire the satisfied of hallucinations. Avoid arguing environing the hallucinations. Tell them you do not see, hearken, scent, or speed it but inculcate that you distinguish that these hallucinations are veritable to him.
  • Promote obedience and warner garbage therapy. Administer prescribed garbages and succor the resigned to forego. Enpermanent that resigned is veritablely preliminary the garbage. Observe for manifestations that authorize hypersensitivity reactions and toxicity.
  • Encourage origin compromisement. Compromise origin in resigned composition and inculcate members to identify hovering retrogression (e.g. excitability, insomnia, decreased power to conglomerate). Suggest ways how families can direct symptoms.


  • Evaluate pointedness of garbage therapy (deficiency of intelligent circumstances and psychotic symptoms).
  • Evaluate obedience to soundness instructions (preliminary medications on occasion, showing inbelief in activities, compromisement of origin).
  • Level of resigned’s functioning (power to buy in political interactions).
  • Patient’s immaterial condition (oriented to truth).

Documentation Guidelines

The forthcoming are to be instrumented in the resigned’s chart:

  • Document the assessed giveing signs and symptoms (e.g., overbearing and indirect signs).
  • In instituting suicide providence, instrument bearing and your providences.
  • In instituting homicide providence, instrument resigned’s explain and who was notified. Be permanent to acquaint the schoolman and the implicit dupe.
  • In using restraints, instrument occasion of collision and liberate.

Practice Quiz: Schizophrenia

Here’s a 5 item taunt environing Schizophrenia. If you demand over scrutinize our NCLEX page and NCLEX Psychiatric Nursing: Schizophrenic Disorders (15 Items)

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1. The nurse would be punish in associating paranoid symptoms to growth in which neurotransmitter?

A. Prostaglandin
B. Dopamine
C. Norepinephrine
D. Serotonin

2. A newly admitted resigned can’t accept preservation of his specific demands, shows insensitivity to raw stimuli, and evidences negativism. The protect would rankify the resigned in which subtype?

A. Paranoid schizophrenia
B. Residual schizophrenia
C. Catatonic schizophrenia
D. Undifferentiated schizophrenia

3. Which of the forthcoming are indirect symptoms of schizophrenia?

A. insensibility and misunderstanding
B. noncommunication of motivation, blunted influence, and insensibility
C. bizarre bearing and misunderstandings
D. asociality, anhedonia, and interrupted excitability

4. The averment made by Steve “My co-workers grudging me and are out to accept me down. I depose they possess hidden cameras everywhither I go!” would be instrumented as:

A. Magical thinking
B. Hallucinations
C. Delusions
D. Regular inventing, and would authorize police exploration.

5. The forthcoming are anatural antipsychotics, except:

A. Olanzapine
B. Seroquel
C. Prolixin
D. Risperidone

Answers and Rationale

1. Answer: B. Dopamine.

Delusional or paranoid symptoms are associated forthcoming a opportunity growthd dopamine motive. Norepinephrine is associated forthcoming a opportunity overbearing schizophrenic symptoms.

2. Answer: C. Catatonic schizophrenia.

  • C: The forthcoming symptoms mentioned are singular to catatonic schizophrenia. It is as-well characterized by inelasticity, negativism, and posturing.
  • A: Paranoid schizophrenia is usually manifested by hallucinations and misunderstandings.
  • B: Residual schizophrenia is characterized by narrative of at last one circumstance of intelligent schizophrenia.
  • D: Undifferentiated schizophrenia is characterized by grossly disunconfused bearing and jutting hallucinations.

3. B. noncommunication of motivation, blunted influence, and insensibility.

Negative symptoms are as-well named as nonpayment symptoms.

4. Answer: C. Delusions.

These are faithnear ideas and are certain by the resigned as gentleman. Specifically, this is misunderstanding of ostracism.

5. Answer: C. Prolixin


  1. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Immaterial Disorders (DSM-V-TR)
  2. Nurse’s Pocket Guide: Diagnoses, Prioritized Interventions, and Rationales
  3. Straight A’s in Psychiatric & Immaterial Soundness Nursing: A Review Series

External Links & Further Reading

  1. Schizophrenia – National Institute of Immaterial Health – provides upto limit notification environing Schizophrenia.
  2. Psychiatric Immaterial Soundness Nursing Success: A Q&A Review Applying Critical Thinking to Test Preliminary (Davis’s Success) – powerful if you’re reviewing for the NCLEX.


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